Psalm 15 (February 24, 2011)

February 24, 2011

[1] O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?  [2] He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart;  [3] who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend;  [4] in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change;  [5] who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved. (Psalm 15 ESV)

We quickly move on in this Psalm to examine three more characteristics of the one after God’s heart, the one dwelling richly and deeply with God. These are cast negatively, that is, they are speaking of what the one who dwells with God will not do.

1. Not slanderous: This literally means to not play the spy, or to trip over one’s tongue in speaking evil about another. This is not unfamiliar in the Scriptures: James 3:3-8

2. Not an evildoer to his neighbor: The word for neighbor is someone with whom one regularly associates. A righteous, God-glorifying believer is loyal and faithful to those close to him.

3. Not willing to take up a reproach against a friend:  Basically, we are looking at a refusal to enjoy or participate in the reproach or difficulties of a friend. A godly friend empathizes with the pain and reproach of a friend. He doesn’t enjoy gossip and slander and evil speaking as long as it isn’t about him.

Hope in the Psalms

John Calvin states, “It cannot be doubted that the design of the Holy Spirit is to condemn all false and wicked accusations.” If we are Christians, then we have the Holy Spirit, and if we have the Holy Spirit, then we should be aimed in a Godward direction, putting down all falsehood and wicked speech and deeds. Pray today, as I will, that the Holy Spirit will help us to be these kinds of people.


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